Announcing the BCNM Data Literacy Initiative Award Recipient

18 Nov, 2013

Announcing the BCNM Data Literacy Initiative Award Recipient

The Berkeley Center for New Media is delighted to announce the 2013 Data Literacy Initiative Prize has been awarded to Helena Keeffe, Masters Certificate Candidate in Art Practice for her project entitled “Standard Deviation.”

The Data Literacy Initiative Prize was created to address the growing divide between the generation of large quantities of data and those with the tools to access and interpret this information. The prize aims to fund a Berkeley Center for New Media graduate student’s research project that inspires a new means of visualizing and understanding data. The $5,000 award is funded by the Craigslist endowment.

Helena Keeffe’s project “Standard Deviation” is a forum enabling artists to access resources and define personal standards related to the value of their labor. The project was conceived in response to growing tuition costs and the disparity between the debt amassed by arts students and their potential to earn a living within their field. Helena was inspired to collect cultural producers compensation data and present it in a form that makes easily visible the landscape of support (both monetary and intangible) for artists.

With the Berkeley Center for New Media Data Literacy Initiative Prize, Helena will develop an online data collection and presentation platform that will focus on compensation reports from artists in the Bay Area. While the website will focus on collecting local data initially, Helena plans to build a scalable framework that can be adapted and used by other arts communities. She has already convened a working group and advisory committee of Bay Area artists and arts professionals — including Eleanor Hanson Wise (designer and director of The Present Group), Working Artists for a Greater Economy (artist collective, NYC), and Jim Melchert (artist, former NEA Director of Visual Arts) — who will bring diverse perspectives and years of experience to the project. She plans to launch the website in April 2014.

We are thrilled to be supporting this worthwhile endeavor, and excited to share the product of Helena’s labor this April.